Is Partial Knee Resurfacing Surgery for You? 

University of Chicago Medicine orthopaedic experts offer tailored solutions for treating knee pain that is caused by joint degeneration from osteoarthritis. Using advanced robotic arm-assisted technology, our surgeons can resurface areas of the knee while sparing healthy bone and ligaments. This less-invasive approach — when combined with a patient-specific surgical plan and more accurate partial knee implant placement — results in a more natural feeling knee compared with a total knee replacement.  

This innovative approach, called Mako partial knee resurfacing, offers several benefits for patients with early- to mid-stage osteoarthritis pain that is not controlled by medication. Advantages include:

  • Precise knee resurfacing, which targets only the arthritic portion of the knee, preserving healthy tissue and bone
  • Accurate knee resurfacing that facilitates better knee implant positioning, resulting in a more natural feeling knee after surgery
  • A quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay compared to total knee replacement surgery
  • Since healthy bone is preserved, patients who undergo this procedure may still be candidates for total knee replacement later in life, if necessary

Before surgery, a CT scan is taken of the knee and is used to create a 3D anatomical model of the knee. This model allows the surgeon to more accurately plan the surgery, knee resurfacing and implant placement. During surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon guides the robotic arm to prepare bone for a knee implant. The robotic system aids the surgeon by ensuring that bone removal is confined to affected areas, stopping the robotic arm if necessary.